Americans will tell you that they have a deep abiding love for justice, for law and order, so why is it that they refuse to accept that most of the people they elect to office are guilty of violating the law? Why is it that so many people in this country stand ready to condemn injustice in other countries, but close their eyes to it in their own?
I remember when Saddam Hussein was captured and then hung, and when Gaddafi was deposed, beaten, sodomized, and then shot; the reaction of some in this country almost bordered on orgasmic. Yet were someone to even hint that any member of our government be hung, let alone beaten, sodomized and then shot, the outrage would be instantaneous and cause for condemnation; and this is doubly true where that to apply to a sitting president.
While I’m certainly not suggesting we form up a few lynch mobs and begin dragging elected officials out of office to be hung, I am wondering why people refuse to see that most elected representatives are guilty of violating the law.
I’ve already given plenty of examples of why I no longer support or trust our federal government to uphold the law, so I’m going to focus my attention at the local level by asking, “Why isn’t Governor Jerry Brown in prison?” Before I can even hope to explain why I believe this man should NOT be serving as the Governor of California; rather he should be serving TIME IN PRISON, I must first go back to the very beginning when America gained its independence from Great Britain. Only by understanding what America became at that moment in time can we hope to understand what it has become today.
On October 19, 1781 General Charles Cornwallis sent an aid to surrender his sword to the Americans at Yorktown, signifying the end of the American Revolution and the defeat of the British. However, it was not until September 3, 1783 that the war officially ended when delegates for both sides signed the Treaty of Paris which laid out the terms for the end of the war.
While the Declaration of Independence laid out certain fundamental principles and the justification for America seeking its independence from the Crown, it was the Treaty of Paris in 1783 that became the first international document which explained America’s new status as a nation. It therefore, seems prudent to know how the world viewed the former English Colonies.
Article 1 of the Treaty of Paris states, “His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States; that he treats with them as such, and for himself his Heirs & Successors…”
Now maybe I’m splitting hairs, or maybe I’m just a dunce, but why would the Treaty be written in such a way to list each individual State when it already says United States? Why would the King recognize each state as free and independent when they were in fact separate in name only as some claim; part of a large consolidation of States into a single solitary UNION?
The truth is, whether you choose to accept it or not, that the States were, in fact, solitary sovereign entities free to conduct business as independent nations. Therefore, the word UNITED in United States of America was used as an adjective to describe the States as united for certain things such as the common defense, but otherwise free to conduct business as independent nations; such as regulate their own commerce, establish treaties, and establish whatever laws they felt best served the people living within each individual State.
Our first form of government backs this claim up. Prior to the drafting and adoption of our Constitution, the Colonies had ratified the Articles of Confederation; establishing a centralized government that would manage the affairs of the Colonies as a whole, yet leaving them free and independent from each other. A confederation is nothing more than a loose alliance of smaller independent parties into a larger group which provides certain things that are more easily obtainable in a group than they would be as single entities. Yet under no circumstances did the States relinquish any of their sovereign authority other than what was specifically delegated to the Congress created by the Articles of Confederation.
Think of a confederation as a group of individuals who come to an unoccupied tract of land and seek to establish a place of residence for themselves. If they were to remain single individuals, or families, it would take much longer for them to erect houses and their safety and security would be much less sure as individuals than if they worked with each other to provide these things for all. In no instance would anyone lose their own identity or their individuality, they would just have joined together to obtain things which weren’t easily obtainable as individual units.
By forming a confederation, the States in no way lost their individuality, nor their sovereignty. A few years after our Constitution went into effect the newly established Supreme Court would weigh in on the case of Chisholm v. Georgia, stating, “…at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects…with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.”
Sovereignty is the ultimate, or supreme, political authority in a nation or State. In America that power resides not in the government, but in the people. We don’t need a Supreme Court ruling to tell us that; we have the Declaration of Independence where it states, “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
If, therefore, each State was sovereign and independent, and if all political power resides in the people, then shouldn’t it have been enough that each State had established a government to manage the affairs of each individual State? I mean, why the need for a central government if the States already had governments of their own?
In a way, the answer boils down to the same reason why they had formed into a confederation; for the purpose of obtaining things that were not as easily obtainable as independent States; such as their own defense from attack. The thing was, there were those who said the Articles of Confederation were weak and ineffective in providing the things they were written to provide; and that a much stronger form of government was needed to ensure that it served the purposes for which it was established.
Whether that was just subterfuge designed to hide the fact that men like Madison and Hamilton only sought to create a strong central government which could, over time, weaken or destroy the sovereignty of the States is irrelevant at this point; what’s done is done and the fact is we do have a central government to deal with.
What I’m more concerned with is the relationship between the central government established by the Constitution and the States themselves as independent entities. Did the Constitution do away with the sovereignty and individuality of the States and place them into a consolidation, or did it leave them as single entities with their own spheres of power and authority? Did the Constitution erect a wall between State and Federal power, or did it leave the States open to incursions upon their power by the government it established?
I could go into a very lengthy discussion of the arguments provided against ratification of the Constitution, but I won’t. Let it be sufficient to state that there were a great many who felt that the government established by this constitution under discussion posed a serious threat to the sovereignty of the individual States. If you are interested I suggest you research the writings of those known as the Anti-Federalists who wrote under the pseudonyms of Brutus, Cato, Centinel and the Federal Farmer. All I have to go on is what the Constitution actually says, and what those who supported its ratification said it would, and would not do.
Some people are of the mistaken belief that just because we have a central government that whatever laws it passes supersede or take precedence over the laws passed by the States. That simply is not so. True, the laws passed in support of the powers given our government by the Constitution are to be supreme, but ONLY when the laws our government passes are in pursuance of the specific powers given it.
The best way to explain what I want to say is if you stop looking at the States as these huge tracts of land with millions of people living in them, and start looking at them as if they were individuals. The government created by the Constitution was given certain powers which would enable it to enact laws pertaining to how the States interacted with each other, and which also provided for the common defense of them all; nothing more! The remaining power to pass laws which directly affected the lives of the citizens within each State was retained by the State Legislatures themselves.
If one were to go to Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution where the powers granted to our government are listed, one would find that most, if not all of them, give government power only in cases where it affects the interaction, or benefit of the States themselves. Nowhere among the powers listed in the Constitution is the power to enact laws which directly benefitted the people as a whole, or certain specific groups or categories.
During the period of debate which took place between the drafting of the Constitution and its enactment, a series of articles, published under the pseudonym of Publius were printed in the newspapers of New York in support of this constitution. These articles became what we now call the Federalist Papers. When reading these Federalist Papers one must take them for what they are; propaganda pieces designed to assuage any concerns the people of New York had over the threat this constitution posed to the authority of the States or to the liberty of the people. Nonetheless, the 3 authors of these Federalist Papers, (James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay) make certain claims that we must assume are somewhat factual.
Therefore, if we are to go to the Federalist Papers and look to see how they explained this balance between State and Federal authority, we would read that Madison declares, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” (Source: Federalist 45)
One of the primary arguments used to justify the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention writing an entirely new Constitution was the fact that the States, acting as sovereign entities, could not effectively regulate trade because each state was passing laws of their own which interfered with the free flow of goods between them. Other things were also affected by the fact that each State had laws of their own which were not common to the entire confederation; such as the difference between currencies used by the various States and the requirements each State imposed upon those wishing to become citizens of each State. It was felt that it better the federal government have these powers so that they could be uniform throughout the States.
In those specific instances federal authority is supreme, but in all others the authority is retained by the States. This should not even require explanation, as the 10th Amendment to the Constitution seems to make that pretty clear, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Now that we’ve gotten that all taken care of, I wish to bring attention to the fact that there are certain things which the Constitution restricts the States from doing. These restrictions are found in Article 1, Section 10, and they are listed as follows:
1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Now that I’ve explained what powers were to be held by the States and which were to be held by the federal government, (I dare not say now that you understand them, because I can’t be certain that you do), let me move on to explain why I believe the Governor of my State should be in prison.
One of the powers which is among those given our federal government is the power to enact a uniform rule of naturalization; or in other words, to pass immigration and naturalization laws that are common throughout the States. As this is among the powers given the federal government, all laws it enacts in that authority are supreme; meaning the States must adhere to them.
Our immigration laws are found in Title 8 of the United States Code and they clearly state what is allowed and what is prohibited. One of the things which is considered a crime is the sheltering, or aiding of those in this country illegally.
8 U.S. Code § 1324 subsection (a) states the criminal penalties for bringing in and harboring aliens. The law, as written, states:
Any person who–
knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law; or
engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or
aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,
shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B)
The penalty for violating these laws may include fines and imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both. They certainly are not that one committing these crimes be allowed to continue serving as the Governor of one of the 50 States!
Jerry Brown, as well as most of the Mayors of the major cities in California, has stated that he will not cooperate with federal authorities in the locating and deporting of those in this country illegally, effectively turning California into a sanctuary for those in this country illegally. Sorry folks, but that is a crime; regardless of what your sentiments are regarding who should be allowed to enter into this country.
I do not want to make this out as if I were singling out any specific country, but why should those who share a common border with the U.S. be given special treatment and offered sanctuary in states like California when other countries are not fortunate enough to share a common border with us so that they can enter this country illegally? Why don’t we just do away with customs and let anyone, in any country, board a plane and come to the U.S. without restrictions of any kind if that is how you feel?
We have these laws for a reason, and that is so we can control who we allow into this country, and how many people we allow into the U.S. on an annual basis. Those who refuse to enforce immigration law, or hinder the enforcement of them by agents of the immigration and naturalization service, or ICE, are in effect, breaking the law themselves and should be punished accordingly; not serving as governors and mayors across the State.
If that weren’t enough to convince you that Governor Brown does not understand, or at least care about the powers given him and those which are retained by the federal government, there is also this. When Donald Trump announced that he was backing out of, or would not attend climate change talks with China, Governor Brown jumped at the opportunity and said that he would be, “participating in a global climate summit and meeting with high-level Chinese officials, possibly including President Xi Jinping.”
If you’ll recall, the very first thing the Constitution restricts States from doing is entering into alliances or treaties with others. Does Governor Brown believe he is special, that those restrictions upon his authority do not apply? Does he think he can go to another country and hammer out some kind of climate change agreement between California and China and have it be lawful to the people of California?
The power to enter into any kind of treaty, including climate change treaties, is restricted to the federal government; specifically the office of the president; with the confirmation of the Senate. This was done because, at the time that restriction was put into place the Senate was the voice of the States in our government and any treaty which affected the States would have to be accepted by those who represented the States; the Senate. Although that protection against violation of State sovereignty no longer exists, (as Senators are now elected by a popular vote of the people) the power to enact treaties still remains solely with the Executive…not some piss-ant State governor who thinks he’s king of his domain.
I’m all for our federal government limiting its acts to those specifically enumerated within the Constitution. At the same time, I cannot for the life of me understand why Governors such as Jerry Brown have not been brought up on charges of violating federal law, obstruction of justice, and for generally being walking talking colostomy bags who only seek to push a socialist, globalist agenda. If there were any real justice, people like Jerry Brown would meet the same fate Saddam Hussein did, the end of a 12 foot length of rope.
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.